Fabric Find

I’m in the L.A. area, working, for 10 days.  I only have 1 day off during this time and what did I do with it?  I went fabric shopping.

Now, I grew up in California, but in CENTRAL California, which for people down south is thought of as NORTHERN California and north of San Francisco doesn’t even exist.  Sigh. Never mind.  I can’t complaint about their ignorance about their own state because I’m just as ignorant about SoCal.  I had no idea there was a garment or fashion district in L.A.  I had been missing a lot!

I heard about these amazing fabric shops from my mom, who learned about them from my aunts.  Block after block of fabric shops. I saw them for myself today.

I actually only shopped at one place.  I read online that they had the widest selection of fabric types so I thought I’d start there.  I went to “Michael Levine” on Maple Ave.  It’s a super busy street with markets on both sides but there’s plenty of parking in the multistory garages.

And no kidding, they have everything!

I first walked around and looked at everything before I pulled out any bolt.  And then I went back to the beginning and pulled out the things that caught my eye not once, but twice.  I got fabric for 3 dresses and 2 tops.

The above are 2 of the dress fabrics.  The bottom one, the black, grey and white paisley, was the most expensive purchase.  It’s printed knit rayon – basically man made silk.  It was $40 for a dress amount.  The fabric above it is some amazing heavy-ish cotton with 3% spandex.  Perfect for a semi-fitted dress.  That was the bargain of the day at 5$ a yard! Yes, $5 a yard. I was even happier.

This colorful fabric is also cotton with some stretch for another dress…

I love the colors! I guess I’ve been feeling in need of the colorful.  Because look at what else I bought, for 2 tops….

Yay! After I found these fabrics I decided I’d better stop.  Knowing my available sewing time, which competes with knitting time and the fact that I have to work for a living, there was no point buying more that would just sit around my house for months.

Now I need to get home and start sewing.  I’ll show you what I make….

Old Lace


This morning my mom and I went to a pre-estate sale that is organized by the church she goes to.  Families hire the church to organize estate sales when they don’t want to bother dealing with or selling off their dearly departed family member’s belongings. Mom got to go to the pre-sale, for church members only, to pick through the good stuff before the rest of the public gets a look in.

And look what I found! This knitted tablecloth.  It’s knit with cotton and has been starched, although the starch has worn off some and it’s not very stiff anymore.  There are a couple of snags in it, but otherwise it’s in excellent condition.

It was covering a round table in the dining area of the house.  One lady there tried to tell me it was crocheted.  I said no, it is knit.  She said you can’t knit that kind of stitch.  I said that I guarantee you it’s knitted.  I still don’t think she believed me.

This looks like a Niebling, or a Niebling contemporary, design.  Looking around the house at the other things that were for sale, it would not surprise me at all if this was bought in Germany.  It’s so hard to guess at how old it is.  It’s not yellowed or in bad shape, but it doesn’t have a new feel to it either.  The cotton used is not like cotton that you find in shops these days.  It’s more like very heavy thread than the crochet cotton we can buy now.  I’m going to look through Ravelry and see if I can find a pattern that matches this.

Anyway, I paid all of $8 for it.  I think I will repair the snags, wash and re-block it. I’ll post photos of it here when that is done. I don’t have a table it will fit.  I might just wear it as a shawl!

Hitchhiker WIP

This is the sum total of an 11 hour flight.  It doesn’t look like much, but I really did work on it a lot during that long flight from AMS to SFO!

And even though it is totally mindless knitting, I’m actually loving the result and the colors keep me motivated to continue on as the rows get longer and longer.  When I decided to take this particular yarn with me on this trip, I really didn’t think about the time of year and the colors of the yarn, but now that it’s knit up a bit, it really looks like Easter! What a coincidence. Or my mind works harder than I think it does.  Anyway it won’t be finished in time to wear for Easter so I’ll just call it Spring colors.

It’s also really good practice for my change to continental style knitting. The combination of fingering weight yarn and 3mm needles is just perfect, no stress knitting.

As I said earlier, this is ONLY a flight/travel project so while I’m not at an airport or in a plane, I will be working on something else.  I might not get this done after all before I get home! We’ll see.  Two more flights to go…

Hitchhiker it is

I asked you to vote and vote you did! Hitchhiker got 37% of the votes and as promised, this is what I will cast on Thursday at Schiphol. I’m busy packing today for my two weeks in California.

Here is the designer’s photo of this quick and easy shawl (but I like to call it a neckerchief – does that make me very old fashioned?)

Photo & pattern – Marina Behm

No, it’s not a vacation.  Well, ok, 4 days of it is a nice long weekend with my mom, but otherwise I’ll be working.  I have a lot of work travel coming up in the next 2 months.  I think between now and the 1st of June I’ll be home a total of 10 days.  I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

I’ll be posting photos of the Hitchhiker project so you can see that I really am making what you decided I should make.  And if I finish it quickly I’ll have to cast on another travel project.  Don’t worry – I’ll have lots of yarn in my suitcase to choose from.

Typically Dutch

The weather is perfect this year for flower growing. This is especially good since last year’s weather was terrible for flowers and the farmers really suffered. The fields are full of color and the air is thick with the smell.  I wish I could share the smell with you!

DB has never been to the Keukenhof.  I’ve been twice before.  I had planned to take 2 colleagues from out of town there today but they had other plans so DB and I went there by ourselves.  I was really afraid that it would be super crowded so we went early.

Along the way I insisted we stop and play tourists and take photos of flowers “in the wild” with farmers and tractors.  There are fields like this all along the western part of the country right now.  Field after field of daffodils and tulips and hyacinths.  Later there will be gladiolas and other summer flowers.  But now is the best time to visit the Keukenhof.

The park was so beautiful.  It was a little bittersweet since I had still fresh memories of being there with my parents (although the weather was much better today than that day in 2001).  It made me miss them both but especially my dad.

We actually bought bulbs too! The bulbs that are now blooming need to be planted in October, so we ordered now and they will be shipped to us in September.  We also bought some Dahlia and Anemone tubers that I will plant tomorrow.

We got there around 9:30 and by 11:30 it was definitely time to leave.  The bus loads of tourists had arrived and it was impossible to take photos without them included, or even to walk around.

It’s really a lovely park and when the flowers are in bloom you not only get to see them in the most perfect condition in the park, but the surrounding area is covered in colors as well.  If you haven’t been, you really should go!

I actually wanted to ride my bike down there, but this was one occasion when DB wanted to go by car since his bike is not in the best condition.  After we got home we discovered that my bike also has 2 low tires and we couldn’t get them pumped up with the pump we have, so we would have gone by car in any case.  Tomorrow – off to Haarlem to get my tired looked at so I can bike to the dunes on Sunday.

If you can make it through the dark winter here, the rest of the year is well worth the wait!

What Should I Make? Vote!

In 10 days I will be on a business trip that includes 2 x11 hour flights and 2 shorter flights but just as much hanging around an airport knitting time. I am looking for a perfect plane project (PPP).

I have 1 skein of Tosh Sock in Mansfield Garden Party (see above) that I want to use for a travel project. It will only be knit while in a plane or airport so I will probably finish something in this amount of time.  I can’t add extra yarn to make something bigger.  I can’t make something that has super complex lace.

BUT WHAT TO MAKE? I am spinning with the possibilities. So please, you decide for me. Whatever is voted the highest is what I will make.  You never knew you had so much power.

My criteria in coming up with the list was:
* The perfect combination of easy but not boring.
* In the case of a shawl, it must be reversible and preferably not strictly triangular.
* In the case of socks, it must make good use of highly variegated yarn.

I’ve narrowed it down to these patterns. Please vote!
I couldn’t link to the patterns directly in the Poll (thanks WP) so I’ve linked to them separately so you can look at them first and then vote:

1. Palessie shawl
2. Sheridan shawl
3. Goddess shawlette
4. Hitchhiker shawlette
5. My Hope shawl
6. Show-off Stranded Socks

Polls are open until Sunday, 13 April at 18.00 CET (9:00am PST)